CMU Daily - on the inside 28 Nov 2002
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• BMG’s Zomba takeover complete,
• Backstreet Boys attorney discusses legal case,
• Music video forum announce details of December event,
• Kelly bitches,
• Former Verve bassist on his new band,
• Labels bid for Big Brother boy band celeb,
• Ms Shakur’s supports local school,
• Review: The Fabrics – Cassawanka,
• Radiohead champion Samaritans email service,
• Black TV network schedules aids programming,
• Lord Of The Rings star cast by Flaming Lips,
• Review: Swell Sessions vs Ernesto
• Let Me Decide,
• Osbournes series two gets record viewers,
• Underground resistance encourage experimentation


From where is Gangstarr's producer / DJ Premiere from?
Answer tomorrow


Vote now in the CMU chart of the year. Email your name, where you work / study and the name of your favourite single and album of 2003 to [email protected] – and look out for the chart of the year on 20 Dec.


Zomba Records – the most successful and most poptastic independent label in the world – is now officially part of BMG. The major, who have had a 20% stake in the company for sometime, now have complete owernship after a time consuming take over.
Word is the takeover took some time because Zomba owner Clive Calder insisted BMG buy his 80% of stock at the 1991 price, as promised in a previous agreement. This went in Calder’s favour because the stock value now is less than half what it was in 1991 (BMG shelled out $2.75 billion for stock which analysts reckon is now worth $1.2 billion). Calder stuck fast on the promise and BMG eventually had to comply.

With the deal done Britney Spears, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Groove Armada, R Kelly and many more are now BMG artists.
How much autonomy the Zomba labels will now be given is unclear – the operations of the two main BMG labels RCA and Arista were pretty much merged in the UK during a restructure two years ago.

BMG bosses also have to consider how they integrate the operations of J Records. They last week took complete ownership of the imprint from founder Clive Davies adding a plethora of artists, including Alicia Keys and Rod Stewart, to their rosters. Davies also got a good deal – he gets a top job at group level within BMG, putting him in charge of Arista, the record label who fired him two years ago for being too old!


With the Zomba takeover BMG buy their way into the latest pop court room battle – as reported yesterday the Backstreet Boys are suing Zomba, claiming the label used delaying tactics to ensure the band didn’t get their contracted two albums out in time, and as such ensuring they missed out on a promised $5 million bonus.

The boy band’s attorney Carla Christofferson has been talking about the case to Australian music website Undercover. She likened the conduct of Zomba to "sort of holding everyone hostage".

Commenting on the awkward position of band member Nick Carter, who’s solo album is listed as one of Zomba’s delaying tactics, Christofferson said: "I think in some sense he didn't realise how this would affect the band because he was being pulled off by Zomba and Zomba was withholding other creative influences for The Backstreet Boys. So there wasn't any band activity that he could participate in because as we state in the complaint Zomba wouldn't approve the producers, wouldn't approve the choices and was sort of holding everyone hostage".

When asked how the legal action would affect the future of the band she said: "They have not yet started recording their fourth album which is one of the problems because they couldn't get the necessary co-operation from Zomba. Now that they are back working together as a band they plan to start as soon as possible if Zomba doesn't continue to withhold approval rights. They are hoping to start almost immediately". However she admitted the legal action may further delay a release.


An exciting new bi-monthly series showcasing the most creative, lesser seen music videos takes over the National Film Theatre on 5 Dec. The evening will include the UK big screen premiere of Spike Jonze's new Bjork video ‘It's In Our Hands’ – the first time the duo have worked together since 1995’s ‘Its Oh So Quiet’.

Alongside the video screening will be a forum for anyone interested in music videos which will feature a panel of leading practitioners including: Robin Dean, the commissioner behind numerous seminal videos and director Matthias Hoene (Partizan). The forum will be hosted by Jordan McGarry of Shots magazine.

To book tickets contact the NFT Box Office on 020 7928 3232. Tickets are £7.50, or £5.50 conc.


Kelly Osbourne has been doing what she does best, bitching, this time to the NME.

Talking about dealings with her record label she told the music paper: "I had a really obnoxious but honest name for the album. I was gonna call it 'Buy Me' because, y'know, if I didn't want to sell it to you, I'd give it to you for free. But my record company told me I was too precocious and they wouldn't let me call it that.”

On the mixed reaction of American radio stations she added: "If a boy sung the songs that I wrote, they'd be considered rock and played on (local Los Angeles hip radio station) KROQ and stations like that. But because I'm a girl, they're, like, 'Oh, she must be pop'. I'd have to sing a fucking death metal song and sacrifice animals onstage to make people think that I'm rock and I think that's kinda pathetic and disturbing."

Full interview is in this week’s NME


Former Verve bassist Simon Jones has been talking to Canadian music website Jam Showbiz about his new band The Shining, who released their debut album ‘True Skies’ earlier this year.

"After the Verve I took a couple of holidays, but then I just went out and set up a little studio at home and started making music on my own. So I guess the music thing was still there really. It wasn't like I was so fed up that I had to do something completely different. But there was definitely a time when the Verve split up - I guess the first time I had time to myself in about 10 years – that I started to ask a lot of those life questions. I think it was spending time with Duncan Baxter [the 22 year old front man of his new band] that made me wake up to wanting to do it again, instead of packing it all in when I'm still in my 20s. I just had to get over the bitterness inside.”

"Once I played with these guys, it was too good to turn down, the chance to do it again. Music, for me, relies heavily on the chemistry of the people you're playing with and I don't think the chemistry was right until I met the guys who are (now) in The Shining actually, and then it all made sense. It was a gut feeling really. I go with my instincts."

Talking about the frontman to his new band he continued: "Duncan is very charismatic. He's born to be a lead singer. Though its taken time for him to settle into it because he never had the chance of playing in bands in his hometown in front of five people on a Saturday night in a pub. A lot of people were coming down to The Shining gigs because of the Verve thing, so it was daunting”


The latest word is Universal, EMI and Telstar are all bidding to sign former Take That star Mark Owen ready to cash in on his renewed popularity following his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother. Despite denying he’s in the house for a career boost, Owen has been working on new material with guitarists Adam Seymour of The Pretenders and Rob Harris of Jamiroquai. It is likely he’ll go straight into the studio after leaving the house (tonight or tomorrow depending on votes) and live dates are expected to follow.

"Mark hasn't stopped writing since the day he split from Take That and so he does have a lot of songs to chose from,” his manager Jonathan Wild told reporters. "He has been busy writing with different musicians to prepare for a comeback. He is desperate to get back on the road again and wants to tour as soon as he can. We have been in talks with a particular record label about a deal which is ready to sign. But since he has been in the Big Brother house a number of other labels have put offers on the table too. We need to talk about what is best for him before we reach a decision. But he will have a single and an album out early in 2003."

Owen’s last attempt at a solo career, signed to BMG, didn’t go far despite a couple of radio friendly hits.


Afeni Shakur, mother of the late Tupac Shakur, has donated $15,000 to her former elementary school so they can buy new playground equipment and a school fence. The donation came after a fund raising event organised by Ms Shakur that raised another $2500.

It’s one of a number of charity projects for Tupac’s mum. She recently co-produced a double album of her son's unreleased songs, proceeds from which will go to the Tupac Shakur Foundation, which provides training to aspiring artists.


REVIEW: The Fabrics – Cassawanka (Switch)
Apparently the players in The Fabrics have come from a breakbeat rock band, a choir, a neo-folk band and a drum & bass outfit. Anyone with an ounce of curiosity will be wondering what the hell t sounds like. With Henry Smithson, aka Riton, behind them, the music sounds like twisted Ninja tune-esque jazz-noodling, through a quarepusher/Aphex Twin effects rack, and to a strange place with a sweet songstress how sings ‘slowly… you stupid fucker’ like Edith Piaf sang ‘maintenant… de rein…’. This is quirky music to say the least, but eerily pleasing. JG
Release date: 9 Dec Zzonked.


Radiohead are backing a new Samaritans counselling service, which lets people who feel uneasy expressing their problems over the phone to use email instead. Teenagers and young men are particular targets for the new service.

Drummer Phil Selway, who has been a Samaritans volunteer for years, told Radio 1: "There are some alarming statistics. I think it's the World Health Organisation that say by 2020 they think the biggest killer will be depression. So you have those very stark figures and then you suddenly think. Something like the Samaritans which is talking about getting feelings out into the open and actually looking for emotional support - well, suddenly it has a very important role in community and our society."

The band have donated a live track and video to the Samaritans official website -


BET, the US TV network that targets the African American community, is planning a series of special programmes for the days around World AIDS day. They will broadcast a number of programmes about the disease, and its affect on the black community in America, plus air sister network MTV's Staying Alive concerts, which have been recorded in Cape Town and Seattle,
BET president/CEO Debra Lee told reporters: "In 2000, almost two-thirds of all women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS were African American. That's why it is imperative that BET continues to create and disseminate public awareness messages about HIV/AIDS targeted to our African-American community. Through various initiatives such as our Rap-It-Up campaign, special programming, and corporate partnerships, we will persist in our fight to educate African Americans and other minorities on the destructive effects of this global epidemic."


Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood has confirmed the Flaming Lips have asked him to appear in their forthcoming movie about the first Christmas on Mars. He told Face magazine: "I went to see them in LA and they asked if I'd like to be in the movie and I said 'YES!'. They were meant to be filming in November but they had to go on tour."


REVIEW: Swell Sessions vs Ernesto – Let Me Decide (Hollow Recordings)
There is already quite a buzz surrounding this track, created not least by the ubiquitous Gilles Peterson. While the original is already a rugged piece of broken beat blacktronica, the Pinku Vaaty Remix throws some dirty lo-fi breaks underneath for some gritty beatnology. The prize mix will doubtless be the Desha Remix (part 1&2) on the flip side: a punchy stunted rhythm broken beat slab of future soul – and sweet soul at that. Funky jazzy organs surround the male vocal, and a spicy synth solo follows. Reminiscent of 4Hero’s last album, but taken to the next step. Nice nice. JG
Release date: 25 Nov
Press contact: Goya IH


The Osbournes doesn’t seem to be tiring yet – the first episode of the second series got record viewing figures in the US. 6.6 million viewers tuned in on Tuesday night to catch the show - double the audience for the debut of the first series of The Osbournes and well above the 5 million average audience for the show's first run. The show maintained its popularity despite Jack and Kelly claiming elements of the first series were faked. In an interview with ABC they said a family meeting turned row and the arrival of a pet psychiatrist to deal with the family dogs was instigated by the shows producers.


Dance label Underground Resistance have issued a statement encouraging techno acts to experiment more. Saying techno music is fundamentally about experimentation, they call on all ‘brothers and sisters of the underground’, to transmit their sounds and combat the sea of ‘mediocre audio and visual programming’.

The statement reads as follows:

“Underground resistance is a label for a movement.

A movement that wants change by sonic revolution.

We urge you to join the resistance and help us to combat the mediocre audio and visual programming that is being fed to the inhabitants of earth, this programming is stagnating the minds of the people; building a wall between races and preventing world peace.

It is this wall we are going to smash.

By using the untapped energy potential of sound we are going to destroy this wall much the same as certain frequencies shatter glass.

Techno is a music based in experimentation; it is sacred to no one; it has no definitive sound. It is music for the future of the human race.

Without this music there will be no peace, no love, no vision. By simply communicating through sound, techno has brought people of all different nationalities together under one roof to enjoy themselves.

Isn't it obvious that music and dance are the keys to the universe? So called primitive animals and tribal humans have known this for thousands of years!

We urge all brothers & sisters of the underground to create and transmit their tones and frequencies no matter how so called primitive their equipment may be.

Transmit these tones and wreak havoc on the programmer.

Long live the underground....”


Answer to Wednesday's pop quiz:
Which people are targeted in Guns ‘n’ Roses ‘Shotgun Blues’ and ‘Get In The Ring’?
Those lovely music journalists

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